If you’re the type of person who has a workout routine, you may have a regular time and place you work out, as well as a favourite form of exercise – I’m with you on that. But the COVID 19 lockdown is restricting many of us, and we are having to adjust our usual fitness habits.
Now is a difficult time to find a new workout rhythm because the challenging circumstances can sap both our energy and motivation. But I can attest to the fact that continuing to do some form of exercise, particularly if you can do it outside, is hugely beneficial for the mind as well as the body.
For those of us who had events planned, and were training towards them, we must deal with the disappointment and, although we may not want, or be able to, train as hard as we were we still need to keep doing something.
For those whose exercise would usually revolve around the visit of a Personal Trainer, you may miss the routine, structure, discipline, motivation and equipment. But there are many ways to continue to build your strength and fitness in a small space and with no equipment:
- Body Weight Exercises
I am a huge fan of bodyweight exercise and, global pandemic or not, always include them in my client programmes as well as my own. Here are some examples of my favourites, each of them delivers major ‘bang for your buck’:
Arms: Planks, Press Ups and Burpees
Legs: Lunges and Squats
Back and Core: Planks, Bridges, Press Ups, Mountain Climbers
- Home Weights
If you also still feel the need to ‘pump iron’ you could invest in some relatively inexpensive dumbells or kettlebells – if you normally workout with a Personal Trainer it would be worth speaking to them for the best advice as to both the type of equipment to buy, as well as the weights best suited to you.
- Get Your Cardio
Burning fat, strengthening the heart, reducing stress, increasing lung capacity, and promoting better sleep… what’s not to like about Cardio, particularly at a time like this. There are many excellent and convenient ways to get your heart pumping during lockdown.
- Get Outside
Folks like me are still running, observing the social distancing rules of course. Other folks are on their bikes and, with less traffic on the road, it’s a great time to give it a go. If you are lucky enough to have your own fitness equipment such as rowing machines and static bikes, you can move them outside and get some Vitamin D while you’re working through your programme.
- Dance Like No One is Watching
It doesn’t have to as technically proficient as an episode of Strictly Come Dancing, just put on your favourite play list and dance out your stress for 30 minutes or so. You can also involve the kids and make it a family dance party to add fun to your daily routine.
- Cardio Clean
If you’re in lockdown with your whole family then it’s likely there will be more cleaning tasks. Housework isn’t everyone’s idea of an exercise programme in normal times, but these aren’t normal times, and cleaning can be made into a cardio workout.
Set a timer, put on your favourite tunes, and get hoovering, mopping or cleaning the shower walls from top to bottom. If that doesn’t hit the spot add in some jumping jacks and running up and down the stairs in between each of the chores.
- Go Old School
It may be old school but including skipping into a workout is as worthwhile as it ever was. Either on its own or, in combination with any of the bodyweight exercises I’ve listed, it’s simple, versatile, fun and very effective!
So get as creative as you can with your exercise while we’re in lockdown – it will pay dividends for the day when we’re set free once more.